Monday, March 2, 2009

Light But Not Yet Heat

It’s March. March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. So far, it has done what is supposed to do. Yesterday was very, very windy. And cold, too, with wind chills back to zero and below. I went out and took some pictures (and yes, it was cold) of the harbor. I plan to go back on April 1 and take pictures at the same place. If there is still ice, I will consider it an April Fools Day joke.

The first picture, which shows just how frozen the harbor is, is Simmons Island on the opposite side of the Kenosha Harbor from where I live. The building with the red roof is part of the Coast Guard station. The other picture shows the old Southport Lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper’s dwelling. The house is currently being restored to what it looked like in 1866 when it was the primary lighthouse in Kenosha. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the nice weather, for a small donation you can go up to the top of the tower. It’s a great view. The Kenosha History Center, which is visible slightly to the right of the lighthouse, has more information about the lighthouse’s history.

There has been a lighthouse in Kenosha since 1848. The North Pier Lighthouse, the red one at the end of the pier, is the one that is active now. The Coast Guard currently operates it, although last year I read that it was deemed “excess” and they have tried to sell it. I haven’t heard if they did or not. What would someone do with a lighthouse? Or without one, for that matter?

The History Center sells replicas of the North Pier Lighthouse. Photographs, too. I have five photos of the red lighthouse in my downstairs bathroom. I have the pictures partly because the bright red looks terrific with the black and white wallpaper in there, but it is also because the lighthouse is special to me and I want my guests to see as much of it as they can. When we first moved into this house, I had a great view of it from our dining room windows. However, when the built the Civil War Museum, our view was obstructed, so now I have to walk a half block to see it.

I’d buy the lighthouse but I don’t think it will fit in that little bathroom.
I will have to make do with photos and daily walks to make sure
it is still there. And speaking of daily walks, those gulls have been sitting in that same spot for the past three days. I am beginning to wonder if they are glued there. (I know they blend in, but trust me they are there.)

Great Lakes lighthouses are interesting, and there much that can be written about them. Even within short driving distance from my home, I can visit many historic sites and styles of these treasures. But I will hold off on this topic until nicer weather when I can visit them and take pictures without freezing my hands. Until then, if you are interested there are some great websites to look at. One of them is Seeing the Light: Lighthouses of the Western Great Lakes.

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